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Relatives Adopting Children

This page will help you understand issues involving adopting a child that is a relative.

Placement of Children With Relatives

Under this topic there are three different issues to address. 

First is that if a child is being placed for adoption, the relatives of the child may have rights that need to be addressed.  In many states the child's biological grandparents, on both the biological mother's and biological father's side of the family, have legal rights related to their grandchild. It is important for a birth mother, birth father, and any adopting family to be aware of these rights and other issues related to being a biological grandparent. A review of the child adoption laws of your state may help answer questions you have about grandparents' rights in a child adoption. Grandparents may also want to visit the links Grandparents Rights Organization and The National Committee of Grandparents for Children's Rights.

The second area involves the placement with, and adoption of, a child by relatives of the child.  If the child has been taken from the biological parent and placed into foster care, U.S. law requires that placement and subsequent adoption consider giving preference to an adult relative over a non-related person or family.  For additional information on this topic please visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway article Placement of Children with Relatives.  If the child has been placed with the relative by the birth mother or birth father, the family should contact an adoption attorney or an attorney experienced in family law to assist them.

The third area concerns step-parent adoption.  For information please visit the link Step-parent adoption.


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For additional information regarding the many types of adoption, please visit our adoption website.

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